Monday, September 9, 2013

Snoqualamie Creek by Sharhaiah

Oh hello.
I see you.
You see me.
Through our eyes the birds are free.
Our hearts are tight.
But you said last week.
Your heart wanted to soar.
Now inside.
The lions roar.
The falls of Snoqualamie pour.
The muscle is sore.

Take some ice.
I found it in the creek.
Down where the snows and glaciers leak.
A bit of wilderness will cure your ache.
For the child and birdwatcher's sake.
The birds will see that they can be free.
The child will see your light.
Our hearts will rise up, they will not be tight.
The mountains will smile.
They know that their tears have covered ours.
But they still wish they had freckles like the sky.
We call them stars.

Freckles in the sky.
From many years of sun.
Sometimes they sparkle.
Other's shoot and run.
Some stars they die and then the sky weeps.
How can there be sadness near the snow and glacier creeks?
How can the sun still shine after so many days?
How can the creatures still stir up productions and plays?
How can the trees still stand after the wood
has gone and rotted or burned for good?

Your heart will feel the strength of the redwoods
your mouth will taste the scent of pine
the birds will sing a song of freedom
and you will be just fine.
The petals will whisper butterfly kisses
the ground will up and sink
and your heart will feel the mends
from the glacier of Snoqualamie creek.

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Mountain Ash, Creaky Stairs and Thankfulness

 Our house is old, it was built in the 1920s. One time we peeled some wallpaper off of my brother's room ceiling ( yes ceiling) and wall and found that someone wrote a date ( I think it was 1960) . I don't know why they wrote it, but it was a long time ago. My house has all original glass doorknobs, and windows. The glass doorknobs are all held with those metal plates, but they have key holes- and we don't know where the keys went. Some of the windows are bubbled or warped a little and are not insulated like new windows, so we have to put extra windows called storm windows over them in the winter. When we took the 60- 70's wall paper off, there was more wallpaper underneath, and then when we took that off, there was more. There's probably more underneath that, but we just painted over the last layer we saw. The banister at the bottom of the stairs is chipped a little and you can see layer upon layer of paint that has been used on it. We have a laundry chute that we kind of used to use as an intercom system, but more often use it for our laundry. Our vents are not very well insulated so you can hear conversations pretty well in other rooms, which you may use to your advantage or disadvantage. The back yard has lots of trees- not puny ones- huge maples and catalpas that shed every season. We figured out why our grass doesn't grow very well, Mount Saint Helens covered our street in ash and if you dig deep enough- it's still there. One time my dad pulled up a tree for our neighbor lady and inside the bush was like winter, sprinkled with ash. My room is connected to my sister's room because my sister's room was added on later. My sister's room and the office and downstairs bathroom below were all added on with not so good a foundation so if you drop some marbles they'll all roll east, or you'll sleep slanted downwards. Off of my sister's room is a veranda, it's most useful for tanning, and starwatching.  The attic is old and some birds made a home up there once, and you could hear the baby birds in the morning calling for breakfast. The street is worn down, and parts of our driveway have big cracks from the tree roots.

 Sometimes I think it'd be nice to have a brand new house with brand new plumbing, brand new foundation, a brand new roof, brand new driveway. But then I remember- I live in a big huge antique, a sort of museum, and a piece of history. Where I stand there were once orchards, then they built streets where old automobiles chugged down, and then they built this house and someone wrote dates on that wall in my brother's room. They added trees, and lovely wooden flooring, and glass doorknobs. They probably had an okay time with the grass until Mount Saint Helens blew up, and then covered up the ash. There are so many stories on this street, so many secrets, and so many memories. ( I have nothing against new houses, by the way... I just like mine better.)

 I was at our friend's house the other day and their house is super new, it smells like fresh paint and new wood. I was playing with the kids and was trying to let the kids know that I was walking up the stairs ( playing tickle monster) and no matter how hard I stepped- those stairs didn't let out one squeak. There are no mysteries, no secrets in that house. The windows are flat and shiny, the floors are reinforced with some new product. The grass outside is new and green, and the trees are small and brand new. I realized then how much I have in my old house, even though it is sometimes an extra hassle. I realized how important it is to be thankful for what I do have, because later on I might regret trying to have everything bigger, and better, nicer, greener, more, or less. I could have missed out on all the discoveries in my life that could not have happened if I got what I wanted then. God knew what he was doing when he gave me everything I have, even if I didn't understand it then. I didn't understand why our yard wasn't bigger- but now I'd take memories, history, and wonderful neighbors over any bigger yard. I didn't understand why I didn't know what I wanted to do for college like everyone else when I graduated- but I'm starting college this year and it could not have been a better time of my life.
 I'm not saying that people who strive for better are bad or not as blessed, because the same things can happen for people who even have as much as they could ever have. The main theme is just to be thankful where you are at. If God gives you a Ferrari- sweet! But use your blessings to bless others... I don't know what you could do with a Ferrari, but if you've got it ask God to give you the wisdom to use it the best for His glory. Mary Oliver said " Sometimes, I need only to stand wherever I am to be blessed." And I think her words ring true.

A couple of weeks ago we were finishing my grandparents move ( some more), they moved a couple months ago but they had some stuff in a storage unit that they needed help getting out before a yard sale. Sadly, the first thing I did was complain to myself, I thought "why do they ever need our help again?! Had we not done enough already?!" Then I cringed with guilt at the sound of my thoughts in my head. How could I be so selfish? God quietly reminded me of a servant's heart and said " well, do it for me?" That evening I was on Pinterest ( as silly as that may seem) and I came across this quote that said " What ever the present moment contains, embrace it as if you had chosen it" (quote Eckhardt Tolle.) So the next day, trying to still have a joyful heart, I quoted that quote over and over again and reminded myself of what I was doing for Jesus even if I didn't see any progress. I said to myself with every box and every frustrated remark from family members that " this is my idea, I chose to spend my day this way, I dragged everyone into this" even though it wasn't true. I treated it as if I had called everyone up and said " Hey everyone I have a great idea and it's a lot of fun- let move boxes and get a little flustered." My "pretending" helped me see the other side of things, and opened up my eyes to really what a difference I was making because I had decided to ignore my selfish thoughts, and live in the moment God had blessed me with to bless others.

 We were all put on this earth at this time for a reason, no matter how hard it may seem right now. Ecclesiastes 3 says that there is a time for everything. All over the bible it says to be thankful and to thank the Lord. These past few years I have been learning that I simply need to follow directions and then watch God put all the pieces together, because His timing is perfect and a doubting heart won't help anything. I have been in that place of doubt and I still struggle with it, but I encourage you to see what you do have now and live now where you are. Even when we don't think we are making much of a difference- we really are blessing others by living now to glorify God. We were not made to construct our own lives, but to follow the constructor.

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Between the 4th and the 5th of June

It is 12am.
You are hungry.
You know it's not going to go away.
                                           grumble. sigh.
grumble, grumble.
You give in, feeling your way down the dark flight of stairs- don't miss the last step!

Turn on the kitchen light, look around- no ones there.
Think of everything you could make at this time of the day.

First idea- hotdog. You could totally turn on your new electric grill and stand in the dark waiting for a barbeque at midnight...bad idea.

You peer into the fridge- chocolate fudge- the kind you heat up on the stove, caramel syrup, chocolate syrup, milk.... there's protein powder in the cupboard.


First three scoops of the powder.
A couple dollops of the fudge.
A drizzle of syrups.

Mix, mix, mix.
Clink, fizzle, clink, clink.


You are kinda sleepy... then suddenly- did I drink a cup of coffee?


Why did I do this?!!!!

You're awake, but at least you aren't hungry anymore.
How about writing about it?
The End.

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Of this world?

Tonight I was reading Day 2 of Week 5 of our church's study on the book of John. One of today's readings was in John 15. As I was reading, John 15:19 caught my attention. The verse reads "If you belonged to the world, it would love you as its own. As it is, you do not belong to the world,but I have chosen you out of this world. That is why the world hates you."

It's as if God is saying "Child, why do you cry? Why do you do that to your self? Why do you run? Why do you let them treat you that way? Why do you get caught up in the hype? You deserve more. You are not of this world.
Isaiah 60:11-22(MSG) says "What's that we see in the distance, a cloud on the horizon, like doves darkening the sky? It's ships from the distant islands, the famous Tarshish ships Returning your children from faraway places, loaded with riches, with silver and gold, And backed by the name of your God, The Holy of Israel, showering you with splendor. Foreigners will rebuild your walls, and their kings assist you in the conduct of worship. When I was angry I hit you hard. It's my desire now to be tender. Your Jerusalem gates will always be open —open house day and night!— Receiving deliveries of wealth from all nations, and their kings, the delivery boys! Any nation or kingdom that doesn't deliver will perish; those nations will be totally wasted. The rich woods of Lebanon will be delivered —all that cypress and oak and pine— To give a splendid elegance to my Sanctuary, as I make my footstool glorious. The descendants of your oppressor will come bowing and scraping to you. All who looked down at you in contempt will lick your boots. They'll confer a title on you: City of God, Zion of The Holy of Israel. Not long ago you were despised refuse— out-of-the-way, unvisited, ignored. But now I've put you on your feet, towering and grand forever, a joy to look at! ...You'll know that I, God, am your Savior, your Redeemer, Champion of Jacob. I'll give you only the best—no more hand-me-downs! Gold instead of bronze, silver instead of iron, bronze instead of wood, iron instead of stones. I'll install Peace to run your country, make Righteousness your boss. There'll be no more stories of crime in your land, no more robberies, no more vandalism. You'll name your main street Salvation Way, and install Praise Park at the center of town. You'll have no more need of the sun by day nor the brightness of the moon at night. God will be your eternal light, your God will bathe you in splendor. Your sun will never go down, your moon will never fade. I will be your eternal light. Your days of grieving are over. All your people will live right and well, in permanent possession of the land. They're the green shoot that I planted, planted with my own hands to display my glory. The runt will become a great tribe, the weakling become a strong nation. I am God. At the right time I'll make it happen."

Amen!!! Talk about a promise!!!! Sometimes I forget that I am not of this world. If this world loves me, there must be something off with my Jesus relationship. The world should not love us, because we are children of God, and the world hates God. Soooo if we want to be more like Him, we need to really be more like Him and not of this world. Easier said than done! The world wants us to get distracted by fame, celebrities, tv shows, music, the news, war, people, movies, our electronic devices, books, food, and so much more. They are all desires of our flesh, not of our soul. I can honestly say that I have been victim of my own fleshly desires. Being a victim to the world may seem harmless and fun, but pretty soon you will find that your relationship with Jesus is dry, and shallow. You need rain in a dry land!!!! And we fall on our knees again begging for our cup to be filled with the water of life undeserving in our desperate misery. Pride comes before a fall...on our knees. We must remember that the world is not after us for our own good, but after our desire for our Savior.

So I leave you with this question: Does the world love you? If so- do you love the world back?

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Amazing Grace

"Take my love
For love is everlasting
And remember
The truth that once was spoken:
To love another person is to see the face of God"-Fantine, Valjean,and Eponine from The Finale of Les Miserables

Recently our church has been doing a church-wide study on the book of John.
Today the pastor preached off of John 8:1-11 which says:

"Jesus went across to Mount Olives, but he was soon back in the Temple again. Swarms of people came to him. He sat down and taught them.
The religion scholars and Pharisees led in a woman who had been caught in an act of adultery. They stood her in plain sight of everyone and said, "Teacher, this woman was caught red-handed in the act of adultery. Moses, in the Law, gives orders to stone such persons. What do you say?" They were trying to trap him into saying something incriminating so they could bring charges against him.
Jesus bent down and wrote with his finger in the dirt. They kept at him, badgering him. He straightened up and said, "The sinless one among you, go first: Throw the stone." Bending down again, he wrote some more in the dirt.
Hearing that, they walked away, one after another, beginning with the oldest. The woman was left alone. Jesus stood up and spoke to her. "Woman, where are they? Does no one condemn you?"
"No one, Master." "Neither do I," said Jesus. "Go on your way. From now on, don't sin."
During the sermon I really started to think about how the musical  Les Misérables compares to John 8 (this may be somewhat controversial.) Although Les Misérables   is a tragic story, and some of you may have some things to say to me about comparing this horrible story to the Bible, I've found that both rely on the same theme of grace.

Before you continue reading- here is a quick summary of Les Misérables   according to Wikipedia (with some of my own commentary thrown in):
Les Misérables  is a French historical novel by Victor Hugo, first published in 1862. It is considered one of the best written novels in history. In the English-speaking world, the novel is usually referred to by its original French title, which can be translated from the French as The Miserables, The Wretched, The Miserable Ones, The Poor Ones, The Wretched Poor, or The Victims. Beginning in 1815 and culminating in the 1832 June Rebellion (read more about this rebellion here) in Paris, the novel follows the lives and interactions of several characters, focusing on the struggles of ex-convict Jean Vajlean and his experience of redemption, and grace.
Les Misérables has been popularized through numerous adaptations for the stage, television, and film, including a musical and a film adaption of that musical.
The appearance of the novel was highly anticipated and advertised. Critical reactions were very diverse, but most of them were negative (which is the reason I said "controversial" in the beginning) Commercially, the work was a great success, not just in France, but also in the rest of Europe and the world.
 Trying to delve deeper into the study of grace I decided to research the hymn "Amazing Grace" written by John Newton in 1779 which I thought matched the subject of grace perfectly.
 The first four lines start this way:
Amazing Grace, how sweet the sound,
That saved a wretch like me.
I once was lost but now am found,
Was blind, but now I see.
Both stories (Les Mis and John 8) show a woman caught in the act of a physical sin, although one was caught in adultery, the other was not exactly caught but found. I had never really thought of "Amazing Grace" in the perspective and idea that grace actually finds us where we are, and although it is a nice thought to think that the last line of the hymn is singing about an amazing miracle worked on a physically blind person... I'm starting to think that the author might have been talking about us as sinners in general.  Another similarity I found was that both women in the stories were saved by men that some may say have fatherly figures. Another thing I found is that during both scenes in the stories, there were other people around the women during their accusal. In Les Miserables, Fantine is found by her supervisor that she is unwed and has a child which disgraced the company, so she is thrown out into the streets to find money in any way she can. She sells her hair, then her teeth, and finally resorts to becoming a prostitute so that she can provide for her daughter who is living with two very foolish innkeepers. Her living condition not being good for her health, Fantine gets very sick with tuberculosis. Being sick, she refuses to sleep with a man and attacks him. The police come and arrest her, but then a man named Valjean arrives to save her. Being very ill and tired of being taken advantage of , she spits in Valjean's face but then tired from exhaustion passes out. As Valjean hears of Fantine's reasoning for her prostitution he promises Fantine to adopt her daughter and to always keep her safe. John 8 (above) tells of a woman in the middle of an angry mob who will give her no mercy for her choice to commit adultery, and although she faces the charge of death for her sin, Jesus still defends her and lets her free. If only the woman knew that not long after she was freed from her sin, that Jesus himself would go and die for her. The definition of grace according to The American Heritage Dictionary is: Divine love and protection bestowed freely on people. Now the question is- how much do we even derserve this grace brought upon us? Are you like the person in the song- blind to our own sin and only seeing it when we are saved? Are you like the adultress in John 8, who gets a death sentence taken from right under her feet? Or are you more like Fantine who has hit the bottom of the pile and just needs a savior? Maybe you need to be more like Valjean and bestow grace upon someone in your life. We all need grace, we all need Jesus. Maybe we as humans need to see that as sinners we really are blind, and need our Heavenly father to find us, save us, and show us that we are blind to our surroundings and need a savior's grace. Let us never take his grace for granted, but thank him for what he has done for us, and live his wonderful grace out into the world!

"Receive and experience the amazing grace of the Master, Jesus Christ, deep, deep within yourselves" -Phillipians 4:23


Monday, February 4, 2013

What Love is This?

What love is this?
full of zeal and passion

love like this shines even brighter than the sun
not blinding sunlight, but one that brings us out of the shadows

into an embrace so deep
that none could ever find us if this love were the ocean

salvation is a wonderful voyage

He is love
We are blessed.

I was reading Isaiah chapter 43 verse 1 last night and it  really made me realize what God is really trying to tell us through His word. I believe that if the Bible was written into one sentence it would simply say "I love you."

Isaiah 43:1-4 (MSG) says "Don't be afraid, I've redeemed you. I've called your name. You're mine. When you're in over your head, I'll be there with you. When you're in rough waters, you will not go down. When you're between a rock and a hard place, it won't be a dead end— Because I am God, your personal God, The Holy of Israel, your Savior. I paid a huge price for you: all of Egypt, with rich Cush and Seba thrown in! That's how much you mean to me! That's how much I love you! I'd sell off the whole world to get you back, trade the creation just for you."

Look at that. Now imagine someone saying that to you in a letter. I think it reads like a love letter. I love the part where he says "You're mine." The whole paragraph summed up is just an amazing profession of love. Ahhh it's just so amazing!!!! He would sell off the whole world to get you back. Man, if that isn't love, I don't know what is- and that's just one paragraph in the whole Bible! I tried to look up how much Egypt costs at least, but I couldn't find anything....I doubt anyone is trying to buy it anyway ha. I imagine one country alone costs a lot. What would you do if someone came up to you and was all "I'd sell the whole world for you?" I'd probably go "awww" and then do some kind of cheesy smile with a flutter of lashes or something. But if that person were really super serious I'd honestly think they were a little crazy. But The thing is- God is crazy, and he's crazy in love with each of us. I find this love incredible, and I hope you do too. I hope that you would join me in this daily awe I have for my creator, even though sometimes I don't notice it.
Sometimes I forget that I'm being pursued by my incredible savior and I leave Him hanging in the gutters. I feel guilty, alone, and angry. But like any one who is in love he says "no, it's okay, because I will take that weight off your back. " But the fact is, it was our pains he carried— our disfigurements, all the things wrong with us. We thought he brought it on himself, that God was punishing him for his own failures. But it was our sins that did that to him, that ripped and tore and crushed him—our sins! He took the punishment, and that made us whole. Through his bruises we get healed. We're all like sheep who've wandered off and gotten lost. We've all done our own thing, gone our own way. And God has piled all our sins, everything we've done wrong, on him, on him." (Isaiah 53:4-6)

But He still loves us.
It's incredible
He's insanely in love.
What love is this?